On The Horizon


An installation of 16, six-foot high acrylic resin cylinders filled with sea water standing at the edge of the ocean. You walk among them and appreciate the beauty of this suspended aqueous terrain as it refracts muted daylight. Later, as the sun sets on the horizon, the columns become illuminated from below, mysterious and inspiring in their material beauty. The sense of wonder is replaced by a growing understanding of the artist's intentions as waves break progressively higher on the beach, shifting the experience to a physical reminder that just as the tides ebb and flow each day, global sea level is also rising.

The project addresses the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions, and international scientist's predictions that global temperatures will increase by as much as 9 degrees by the year 2100.

As a result, sea levels are expected to rise more than 6.6 feet-- the approximate height of the seawater-filled columns--affecting coastal areas locally and globally.

On the Horizon is imagined as a collective endeavor—something shared that will be internalized and meaningful for participants. This artwork is not meant to intimidate or create anxiety, but rather to inspire and evoke change.

Fernandez explains her aspiration for individuals "to experience the relationship of their body to what the future will feel like and look like. We are in the present, posing with the future. When individuals take a selfie in front of it and post it on social media, I hope they will see the possibility of their actions as needed to create that future."

Similarly, Laura Tam--a sustainable development/climate change policy expert--believes that juxtaposing beauty and danger can spark action. "This project is a beautiful visualization of a not so beautiful change that we're going to experience. But thinking about it as an opportunity rather than as a disaster helps people move into a space where they can think about solutions."

"Knowing what's coming and being able to have a community conversation about what to do allows you to take charge in the face of this threat."